The San Francisco 49ers released their first unofficial depth chart ahead of their Week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday afternoon. By no means does this indicate how much players will play, but it generates good discussion, and gives us an inside look on where players stand now. Depth Charts are fluid. For example, we know that a month from now, Nick Bosa will not be a backup. You don’t draft a player that high and leave him on the bench. Also, just because Bosa doesn’t start the game, doesn’t mean he won’t play the most snaps along the defensive line.
Here is the depth chart:
Matt Breida is RB1. That is changed, and after the preseason, it’s tough to argue anything else. For a Kyle Shanahan offense, he’s the best option.
Bourne ahead of Samuel is interesting. Bourne certainly was on the field more during the preseason, but again, this isn’t indicative of how things will play out. Samuel could play 25 snaps on Sunday but have ten touches whereas Bourne could play 40 snaps and only four touches. We know Samuel is going to play more.
There aren’t too many surprises on the offensive side of the ball. Dwelley is far and away the best receiving option after Kittle, so it makes sense to slot him as TE2. If the team does sign Jordan Mills, that could bump Skule to the practice squad.
This may not mean much, but all summer D.J. Jones was running with the 1’s, and Sheldon Day would come in after him. That’s a recent change. I prefer Jones, but don’t think it’s a big deal, as both won’t play more than 30 snaps a game, more than likely.
Bosa isn’t a backup, and I’m not sure we need to say anything more than that. He’s going to play—a ton. Thomas is listed as a defensive end, but we’ll see him twice as much on the inside when the offense is in obvious passing situations. I thought Thomas played very well from inside during the preseason. He has a chance to get his career on track if he keeps it up.
Love seeing Greenlaw listed as a starter. He earned it.
Moseley listed as an outside cornerback and Reed as the backup slot cornerback is interesting. Reed played outside during the preseason, but wasn’t as effective, while Moseley did look comfortable in both spots. If K’Waun can’t go, it’ll be between those two, or Ward to fill in. Speaking of Ward, and Witherspoon, I wonder if we’ll see Moore/Verrett get a series here and there. We saw the defense during Kansas City go with Ward in the slot,and Moore and Tartt as deep safeties. I prefer that, but a healthy Verrett is one of your best cover guys. These are good problems to have.
Dante Pettis listed as the starting punt returner makes me happy. I believe he gives you the best chance to score. He was electric on college, and I think he’ll continue to be so in the NFL.